South Africa news
Boucher Retires From International Cricket10-Jul-2012 13:14:00 GMT
Taunton: South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has retired from international cricket after sustaining an eye injury during the tour of England.
In a statement read out by South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Tuesday, Boucher said the severity of the injury he suffered in a tour game against Somerset had ended his test career.
Boucher, who no longer plays international limited-overs cricket, would have reached 150 test appearances in the three-match series against England that was also expected to be his farewell tour.
Boucher sustained a ruptured left eyeball when he was struck by a bail standing up to the stumps to legspinner Imran Tahir on Monday.
He underwent surgery for nearly three hours to repair the damage, but Cricket South Africa said the long-term prognosis for Boucher was "unclear."
Boucher played 147 Tests and currently holds the world record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper.
Proteas skipper Smith gave a personal message of his own to his team-mate of 14 years.
"Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances. For the 14 years of your International career, you have been a true Proteas warrior, a patriotic South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything. You have been a 100 percenter for this team. You have been more than a performer, you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energizer… and a good friend to many. You leave us today with sad hearts, but also with a deep gratitude for your contributions to our team, and to us as people. The fighting spirit you brought to team remains with us. We wish you a good as possible recovery from your injury. As we bid you a farewell as an international cricketer and wish you well for your future, we keep you as a friend and respected Proteas warrior."
Boucher, who was on his fourth tour of England, suffered the freak injury on Monday when he was struck by a flying bail while standing up to leg-spinner Imran Tahir on the opening day against Somerset.
He was initially treated on the pitch before being taken to Taunton hospital where he underwent surgery on a lacerated eyeball.
Boucher has since been discharged from hospital and will travel home on the earliest available flight. His eye is still too swollen for a long-term prediction to be made about possible effects on his sight.
After visiting Boucher in hospital, South Africa's team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee told Cricinfo: "The extent of the eye injury can be described as severe. The eyeball was repaired during the operation.